Save money while planning your next vacation by learning how to find the best deal when booking a hotel.
Find the Best Deal When Booking a Hotel
Learning insider travel tips can help you find incredible deals on hotels when booking a vacation.
Constant Flux in Hotel Booking Prices
Before you begin your search for a hotel, it is important to understand that shopping for a hotel room is unlike other types of shopping. If you want a new TV, you do some research, find the best price and buy one. Unfortunately, the process to book a hotel room is not that easy. The price of hotel rooms is constantly changing and can vary dramatically from one source to the next. The cost of the same hotel room can fluctuate wildly from one day to the next, or in extreme cases, from one hour to the next.
Every traveler would love to have one source that can show them the best price, but unfortunately none exists. To find the best deal when booking a hotel takes some work, but the effort can result in savings of hundreds or sometimes thousands of dollars.
The search for the best deal on a hotel room begins with the planning process. Before you start looking for hotels, solidify your plans on exactly where you want to go, the price range that you are willing to pay, and the amenities that you really want in a hotel. This will drastically narrow down your search and save considerable time in the process.
As soon as you know when and where you want to travel, begin your hotel searches. Although it is true that you can sometimes find the best prices on a hotel room at the last second, it is a big gamble to wait, especially if you are traveling to a popular destination during a time of high demand. The best deals on hotels in popular areas are typically found months in advance.
Hotel booking Sites
The best place to start your search for a hotel room is on one of the popular hotel booking sites, such as Expedia, Kayak, Orbitz, Trivago or Travelocity. Also check Bookit.co, Booking.com and Hotels.com. These searches should give you a solid price range for the hotel rooms you are looking for. While it may be tempting to jump on the first good deal you see, it is important to resist that urge. Instead, monitor the hotel booking sites for a few days to get an idea of how dramatically the prices are changing and what constitutes a really good deal. By being patient in booking a hotel, you can save yourself a significant amount of money.
Make a call
Once you find a hotel online that seems like a great deal, the next step before you book a hotel is to pick up the phone. Call the hotel directly and speak with a manager. Ask them if they can beat the price you found. If they can only match the price, ask them if they can throw in any extras or upgrades. Sometimes working directly with the hotel can result in a better deal.
Off the Grid
While the hotel booking websites are a great resource for travelers, they are not as comprehensive as people tend to believe. Many hotels are not listed on these websites, often because they do not want to pay money to be listed. Your search for hotels should include straight internet searches for hotels in the area you want to visit. They often have their own websites, or contact information can be found through the local chamber of commerce or tourist bureau.
Make some calls to these hotels to compare their prices. In some cases, they may offer much better deals than those found through the travel websites.
Check for Deals
Websites such as Groupon and LivingSocial offer deals on hotels that can result in significant savings over other sources. Make sure to check these sites for any possible deals if you want to book hotel rooms. The offerings are often limited, but it is worth a try.
If you plan on staying in only one place during your trip, your best bet can be purchasing a package deal. This can be an effective way to save a significant amount of money. Package deals typically include air travel, hotel and even food.
Coupons and Rewards
It is always a good idea to look for hotel coupons before you book hotel rooms. Some hotel chains offer coupons, while coupons can also be found through local tourist and chamber of commerce sources. In many instances, coupons can save you more than any other source.
Using a hotel chain rewards program or discounts through a travel membership like AAA can offer big savings on a hotel room. It can be worth enrolling in these programs, especially if you travel frequently and need to find the best deal when booking a hotel.
If you are really adventurous, you can fly by the seat of your pants and not make any reservations beforehand. Sometimes the best deals can be found by calling or visiting a hotel on the day you need a room. In some cases, a hotel will have a high number of empty rooms and will give you a good deal to book hotel rooms. You may even be able to negotiate a price when booking hotel rooms.
Before booking hotel rooms, make sure to ask if there are any hidden costs. Sometimes there are additional costs that are not part of the advertised price, which can really add up and erase your initial savings when you try to find the best deal when booking a hotel.